You can exhale Warriors fans, there is hope. The universe works in mysterious ways, and yesterday, it worked for the Warriors.
Just when the flagging team needed it, on a day when they could only suit up seven players in a loss to the Clippers (as predicted by our LAist comrades), the Warriors announced that they had pulled off an almost unbelievable eight-player trade with the Indiana Pacers. And there is more good news. Some how, some way, VP of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin convinced his Indiana counterpart, Larry Bird, to take Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy. That's right! The Warriors unloaded both baby Duns and Man-o-War in one fell swoop. And it keeps getting better. In return, Mullin snagged Al Harrington to help bolster the frontcourt lineup and guard Stephen Jackson to, uh, help with the police lineup. Both teams also threw in a couple of redshirts to level out the financials and collective bargaining requirements, but even the redshirts are looking good.
This was a critical move at a critical time for the franchise. Clinging precariously to the thin, crumbly ledge of respectability, and with a playoff position in sight, the players and the fans needed to see some sign of life from the front office. Some indication that the suits are trying to win just as hard as the talent. Yesterday, the suits came through.
SFist has given Mullin and GM Rod Higgins a lot of grief over the past two years -- and rightly so. But today, Mullin and crew deserve many huzzahs. From the Warriors perspective, this trade is almost too good to be true. Not because of the players the team received in the deal, but for the albatrosses it unloaded. Athletically, financially, and psychologically, this trade is a legitimate turning point for the franchise. There is no doubt that this move gives the team a future lease on life.
Fresh faces and fresh hope for Warriors fans. Photo from Warriors official website.